[StBernard] Protecting Louisiana's Seafood Industry

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Thu Aug 13 20:20:44 EDT 2009

Dear Friend,

I wanted to let you know about my ongoing efforts to protect Louisiana's
seafood industry from foreign competition and to protect seafood consumers
from unsafe imported seafood.

This month the Senate adopted by Unanimous Consent an amendment I offered
to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill to require the Food and Drug
Administration to study the inspection capacity of imported seafood and the
supply chains that are the most susceptible to health concerns or risk of

The FDA has 240 days after enactment to submit their study to Congress and
make recommendations for increasing inspection capacity.

Our state has a rich fishing heritage that provides many Louisiana families
with their livelihoods, and Gulf seafood is a central component of our
unique cuisine. Given its importance to our state, I believe that seafood
imported from other countries should be held to the same high standards
that we impose on domestic seafood products.

Seafood imported from China and other Asian countries needs to be better
inspected and monitored. It's that simple. And this amendment will help
ensure that the FDA applies the same standards to all seafood, not just
seafood produced in domestic waters.

Foreign seafood producers often use antibiotics or other chemicals in their
fish production that have been banned as unsafe in the United States.
Without more study and increased resources dedicated to test imports, our
domestic fishermen are faced with unfair competition from products that
should not be allowed to enter our food supply.

Louisiana's seafood producers already face enough challenges in a
struggling economy and do not need the added challenge of facing growing
competition from all-too-often unregulated and unsafe foreign imports. As
your U.S. Senator I'll continue fighting for Louisiana's seafood industry
and to protect seafood consumers.


David Vitter
U.S. Senator

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